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Sponsorship Stories

Letters That Last a Lifetime:

Meet Rick DeFlavis and his wife, Edna May. Rick and his wife recently met up with their former sponsored child and were able to witness the impact of their sponsorship firsthand. This is their story...

Recently, my wife and I had the opportunity to meet up with our former sponsored child, Cesar. Cesar is of particular importance to us because he was our very first sponsored child.

We began sponsoring Cesar, who is from Colombia, when he was just shy of 8 years old in 1988.

Over the next few years, we wrote to each other on a regular basis and my wife and I would often stress the importance of obtaining an education. We continued to exchange letters all the way up to Cesar’s 17th birthday. It was not too long after his birthday that Cesar decided to join the military, we moved to a new area, and we eventually lost touch.

A few years ago, Cesar contacted me on Facebook. He had been trying to find us for 10 years! As it turns out, he had been following my career and even knew the dates of many of my promotions. I also learned that Cesar had been making his own career advancements.

Cesar had continued on with his education and now works as an electrical engineer for Kraft Foods, Inc. He is 32 years old and lives in California with his wife and two daughters. In one of his emails, he told us that he had learned English in order to be able to communicate with us without relying on the use of a Plan interpreter.

After a series email exchanges, we learned that he would soon be taking a business trip around the holiday season that would take him from California to Miami and then on to Mexico. We remembered a letter that Cesar had written in 1992, where he had mentioned that one of his dreams was to get his passport and come to the U.S. to meet us in person. And now after all of these years, we would finally have the chance to meet Cesar for the very first time.

Cesar was able to make arrangements to arrive in Maryland for a 3-day visit before continuing on with his business trip to Mexico. During his visit, we were able to take Cesar on a tour of Washington D.C. and visit the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. We spent the last evening of his visit reading through many of the old letters that we had exchanged over the years.

Cesar told us that even though he was appreciative of the sponsorship and the gifts that we had sent which had helped his family, what he treasured the most were the letters that we had sent to him over the years.

We couldn't have asked for a nicer gift!